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Snap Fact #107
 
President Obama Helps Immigrant Families In Spite Of Congressional Inaction! 
The Obama administration planned a rule change to help reduce the time undocumented immigrant spouses and children are separated from citizen relatives while they try to win legal status in the United States. Under the new rule, undocumented persons can ask the government to decide on a waiver request before they return to their home countries to finish the visa process. This waiver would push aside a 3 to 10-year ban that they would normally encounter before being able to come back to the U.S. 
Immigrants can only receive a waiver if they have no criminal record other than being illegal, and if their absence would cause an extreme hardship to their families. This change could give families peace of mind before their relatives go back to their home country to finish the visa process. This rule change was necessitated due to the fact that Congress has been inactive with regards to immigration reform. 

The government received about 23,000 hardship applications in 2011 and about 70 percent were approved. As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama pledged to change what he considered a broken immigration system. Another Obama promise kept - at least as best as it could be under the circumstances.